2002 Toyota Camry '02 Camry Won't Start

Electrical problem
2002 Toyota Camry 4 cyl Front Wheel Drive Automatic 114k miles

My wife's '02 Camry XLE would not start today while we were at Best Buy. I crossed my fingers and tried as much as I could to twist the battery terminals around in case there was a corrosion issue, and, luckily, it started and we were able to drive home. Thinking I found the issue I got out the wire brush and cleaned all the terminals/connections, but didn't find any notable corrosion. The battery was replaced about 1 year ago. After the cleaning it would not start at all. I'm thinking the Best Buy start was a fluke.

It's kind of a strange 'won't start' problem to allow me to explain exactly what happens:
1.) Turning the key to the 'On' position allows you to run all of the accessories, including the radio and Hi/Low beams with no dimming.
2.) Turning the key further to the 'Start' position produces a single 'click' and everything appears to die. No radio. No lights. No dash indicators.
3.) If I disconnect the battery and reconnect the same cycle will repeat itself. Also, if a certain amount of time passes it appears to 'reset' itself without disconnecting the battery and you can start from step 1 again.

Honestly, I'm not sure what is between the battery and the starter, or what could cause the flow of electricity to stop. The fact that it seems to blow a (non-physical?) Fuse is also something I've never seen before. Is there anything in the starter or solenoid that would cause symptoms like this? Is there any way I could bypass the issue in order to start it 'manually' and drive to the stealership?

In a bind so any help is much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Do you
have the same problem?
Sunday, January 10th, 2010 AT 9:23 PM

1 Reply

Turn the key to the on position. Go under it and take a screwdriver and touch the B+ terminal wwhich is the cable coming from the battery to the S+ terminal which is the small diameter wire on the starter. It will spark but the starter will crakn. Besure to block whe wheels. Have car in park and ebrake on. That shoudl get it to start.

If it still only clicks id check the battery.
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Monday, January 11th, 2010 AT 5:22 PM

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